CUPE has been playing an active role in the Walkerton inquiry. Members of CUPE 255, frontline workers at the Walkerton Public Utilities Commission, are involved in the investigation of what happened last May.
CUPE has been granted official standing at the broader Walkerton hearings into the state of Ontarios water systems, scheduled to start in the new year. CUPE will ensure the views of frontline water workers are heard and will promote public solutions to water infrastructure needs.
Flowing from the Walkerton tragedy, Water Watch is focusing on water quality. A scientific study of water quality is underway with the Sierra Legal Defence Fund. CUPE is distributing an Environment Canada booklet promoting water conservation. And a meeting of front line water workers is in the works for the new year, to discuss workers perspectives on the best way to guarantee clean and safe public water.
CUPE also made water a key issue in several municipal elections, highlighting candidates who support accountable public systems. And in communities such as Halifax and Kamloops, there are active campaigns to fend off privatization threats.
On the international scene, CUPE is supporting ongoing struggles for public control of water, including in Bolivia. While their water fight is no longer making headlines here, activists in Cochabamba, Bolivia are still agitating for an accountable and well-functioning water system. CUPE plans to participate in an international delegation to Cochabamba to learn from the Bolivians struggle, and to share workers experiences and expertise with public systems in Canada.